100 gun advocates appear armed at Bay Area restaurant

Gray skies and a spattering of rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of about 100 members of the Open Carry movement, who showed up Saturday morning displaying unloaded guns at a restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek.

The group hopes to make it easier to legally carry a loaded gun in California and has been gathering at Bay Area restaurants for the past few months. The original meeting place for Saturday was to have been nearby California Pizza Kitchen, but that company made it clear Open Carry advocates weren’t welcome, so the group moved to the Buckhorn Grill.

“We’re not politically involved. We’re a restaurant and we’re serving food,” regional manager Tom McLaughlin said as he welcomed the group into his establishment. Both Peet’s Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen have banned guns from their premises in response to recent requests from the national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, while Starbucks refused the campaign’s request to do so.

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